Social Media

Social media is as popular as ever, with multiple new social media platforms coming out each month. In 2018, teenagers have access to hundreds of social media platforms, dating sites, anonymous chat sites, and lots more!

In 2017, anonymous chatting apps made a comeback and new apps were even created. Among these, some of them allowed teens to message their friends anonymously and let them say things about the other person. This makes an easier way for teens to bully, because now they can say it without anyone even knowing it was them. We warn parents of these apps. Many teens use these types of apps to send harassing and rude comments or questions to other teens. Other teens use these apps to call their peers ugly or to say things they'd never say in person. If you're a teen on these apps, be cautious. Don't engage in sending rude messages to other people. How would you feel if someone did that to you?

8 Tips:  Social Media Safety

  1. Create a strong password for each of your social media accounts.

  2. Only accept friend/follow requests from people that you know.

  3. Click links with extreme caution. Social media accounts are regularly hacked. Look out for language or content that does not sound like something your friend would post.

  4. Don’t reveal sensitive personal information like your home address, financial information, or phone number.

  5. Customize your privacy settings to control who sees what on your accounts.

  6. Don't believe everything you read online. People may post false or misleading information about various topics, including their own identities.

  7. Assume that everything you put on a social networking site is permanent. Would you still post that?

  8. Remember: If you wouldn’t say it or do it in public, don’t post it online.

Temporary Apps

 

Lets users send messages, photos and videos that self-destruct after a set period of time. This includes apps like Snapchat. 69% of young adults (18-24) use Snapchat! Burn Note and Line are other apps that erase messages after a set time. Line has 218 million active monthly users.

Anonymous Apps

 

Anonymous apps allow users to post comments, images, and messages without revealing their identity, age, or location. 28 million teens use Ask FM to ask questions anonymously and millions of teens connect apps to Snapchat such as Sarahah where users can swipe up on a Snapchat story to send the user and anonymous comment. Omegle is one of the worlds most dangerous anonymous chat services, where it's filled with sexual content, drug references and violence. Over 40% of users are under the age of 18.

Most Popular Teen Social Media Apps

 

Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter are among the most used social media platforms by teenagers.

Some of the most popular social media sites include:

Social Media:

Facebook/MessengerInstagramSnapchatTwitterTumblrMeetMeYouTube

PinterestWhatsAppMusical.lyRedditKikPeriscope

Top Dating Sites:TinderMatchCoffee Meets BagelOkCupidPlentyOfFish

ZooskBumble

​Anonymous Apps:tbhAfter SchoolSarahahWhisper

Snapchat Safety

If you're a teenager, there's a high chance you might have the social media app, Snapchat. Millions of teenagers use the app daily, many of them uploading each hour. Snapchat is a mobile messaging service that sends a photo or video to someone that lasts only up to 10 seconds before it disappears. During that time, the recipient can take a screen shot, and the sender is notified that it was taken. A new feature on Snapchat allows you to keep your exact location on the app so all of your Snapchat friends can see it. Many teens don't realize the danger of this. If you have Snapchat, turn your location off in the settings. There is NO reason to have it on. All it does is give predators and adults access to where you are at all times, including when you're traveling.

When you go to your Snapchat app, you can go to your settings and turn your location to 'Ghost Mode' which means that only you can see your location. All of your Snapchat followers wont be able to see it.

Creating a Social Media Bio

Most teenagers have a bio on their social media pages, especially apps like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Teens typically post their ages, birthday, school name, city, and where they work on their bio. This is typically not the best idea for teenagers, because now online predators are able to track somewhat of a location for where you may be. Someone who may be a stalker now has readily available information of where their potential victim might be located. Now, we aren't saying that you shouldn't post anything on social media. However, with that being said, pre-teens and teens should not give away personal information, even in a Facebook or Twitter bio. Everything that's on your social media accounts can in the future, be used against you. You should try not to post exact locations of where you are and things like your age or your job location.

 

Social Media Statistics

88% of teenagers have seen someone be mean or cruel to another person on a social media site

55% of parents of 12-year-olds said their child was on Facebook and over 75% said they helped their child gain access

Over 55% of teens have admitted to giving out private information to people they do NOT know

In 2017, over 35% of Facebook users were under the age of 13

25% of high school aged students  and 33% of college students have at one time or another, sent a sexually explicit photo to another person.

About 70% of the teen girls who have sexted, 61% have said that they did so because they were pressured. Learn more about sexting.

Most Common

Messaging Apps

  • Kik Messenger: Kik lets you send texts, pictures, and video to anyone who you choose to message with. It also allows you to make calls to possible strangers. Users don't have to reveal real names, so there's a layer of anonymity, as their username can be anything.

  • Snapchat: Snapchat is a messaging app that lets users put a time limit on the pictures and videos they send before they disappear. It's often thought that the pictures sent are gone after they disappear, but this is not always true. Whenever anything is sent online, it never truly goes away. The person on the receiving end can easily take a screenshot of the image before it disappears, and now your private image is no longer private.

  • Facebook: Facebook is known to most through the app, but it also comes with Facebook Messenger, which is one of the number one used messaging apps in 2018.

  • Instagram: Instagram is a photo and video sharing site, but users are also able to message their followers and any random account that they'd like, so long as the other account isn't private.

  • Twitter: Twitter isn't often used as a messaging app, however many teens do use the app to send messages to other Twitter users.

  • MeetMe: MeetMe is a social network that differentiates itself from others because it introduces people to new friends instead of connecting them to existing ones.

Most Common Social Media Apps

  • Facebook: Your teenager is probably a Facebook user, as many are. Teens typically feel the need to maintain a profile there, even if they are not very active on the site. For best results on Facebook, do not engage your teen. On Facebook, users can post statuses, pictures, videos, and other things such as websites or business related things. Hundreds of thousands of users are under the required age of thirteen, so the app is very populated with underage children.

  • Instagram: This photo editing and sharing app is very popular with teenagers and is primary used for sharing selfies and nature related pictures. Instagram allows users to edit and post photos taken on their phone, and the images are publicly visible by default. Like Facebook, there are a lot of underage kids on the app.

  • Twitter: Twitter offers quick connection with anyone in the world. Users post updates in 140 characters or less. They can follow and be followed, as well as block other users from seeing what they post, but parents can also see what kids are posting without connecting, so long as they are not blocked. Because images can be posted, all the same dangers of Instagram apply. Remember, too, that if your teen doesn’t want you to see their posts, they can simply start a new account and not tell you about it.

  • Pinterest: Pinterest organizes users around interests. Users create boards, which are like digital bulletin boards where favorite content is “pinned.” It's incredibly popular ith teens and adults.

  • Vine: On Vine, users create and post 6-second videos, which are often also shared on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Expect inappropriate content here including sexually explicit material and suggestive drug use.

  • Reddit: Reddit users submit links or text, which are voted up or down by other users. This site is typically much more more popular with males.

  • Tumblr: Tumblr enables blogging for those interested in reading and writing blogs on various topics. Photo, audio, and video posts are often re-shared from other sites.

MeetMe Safety

MeetMe is a social network that was created so teenagers can be introduced to new friends. MeetMe users can create a profile using either an email address or Facebook account. Once you create an account, you will be able to see profile pictures and basic information about other teenagers who live nearby you. Users can also browse through the news feed of people nearby, which is similar to Facebook statuses. There are over one hundred million MeetMe users and a large portion of them are between the ages of thirteen and seventeen.

MeetMe is often filled with predators posing as teenagers and profile verification is not required, so predators have an easier time maintaining an account on the site.

Even though the site was created for teens to meet new friends, it's used by most teenagers to find dates and romantic relationships. This poses an even bigger danger for teenagers, because online predators will use this to their advantage.

VSCO Safety

VSCO is a photography app where you can create an account and upload or take photos, edit and add filters, and share them with other in-app users or on other social media sites such as Instagram. Links to VSCO accounts are often found in Instagram bios because teenagers post them there so others will easily find it.

VSCO users can't comment on or like other users' pictures so there is limited social interaction on the site.  You can however, share your photos to other social networking sites where users will be able to share, like, and comment on the picture. Privacy settings are very limited on VSCO. Users don’t have the option to make their accounts private, which gives the site very few privacy options.

Very few parents are aware of VSCO so teenagers often use it to share their riskier photos which can range from pictures taken at parties to selfies dressed inappropriately.

Teen Dating apps

Online dating is quite common for teenagers, even more than parents think. Typically, most real dating sites require you to be 18 to join, however these sites have thousands of underage users, even when they aren't supposed to be on there. There are also many apps and websites meant exclusively for teens, where teenagers can make new friends, start new relationships, and find people they want to date.

Teenagers often don't realize it, but online dating is one of the most dangerous things that teenagers can involve themselves in online.

Most Common

Anonymous Apps

  • Sarahah - Sarahah  has become popular in middle and high schools. Users (and non-users) receive comments about them on a personal profile page. It is not typically moderated and teenagers can send whatever they want for the most part. Teens often connect the app with Snapchat, another social media site.

  • TBH - Short for “To Be Honest,” this app is aimed at teens and college students. The app is supposed to be for compliments. Kids take polls and quizzes and questions about them may be sent to people in their contacts list.

  •  Ask.fm - In this teen oriented social platform, users can ask questions of others anonymously or not, but all answers are anonymous. It also connects with other social media platforms to invite people you know to follow you.

  • After School - After School is an app aimed mainly at high schoolers, where teenagers can pick their school and can then post anonymous things about other people in their school. The app is often filled with teens saying things about other teens, either a compliment or a rude comment.

  • Whisper: A social "confessional" app that allows users to post whatever's on their minds. Users type a confession, add a background image, and share it with the Whisper community.

  • Omegle - An anonymous chatting website through which teens can discuss anything they'd like. Its conversations are often filled with bad language and references to sexual content, drugs and alcohol, and even violence.